Concessionaire to start petition over hot dog sales
A concessionaire who claims red tape is preventing him from fully operating his business from a beach trailer is planning to launch a petition to get community support to sell hot dogs.
Keith Simmons said he has been unable to offer the services he would like because of prohibitive health rules and regulations.
Mr Simmons recently claimed that he had to wait almost two years to get his trailer inspected, which eventually took place in June 2021.
And he said he was prevented from offering hot dogs because he was barred from using a generator and did not have an electrical connection.
He also claimed he was stopped from selling prepackaged food like potato chips in July and has only been able to rent beach chairs and umbrellas since then.
After The Royal Gazettehighlighted the case, Mr Simmons said he had met with David Burt, the Premier, and Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, to discuss the issues affecting his business.
Michael Dunkley, the former Premier who is also Mr Simmons’ area MP, also confirmed reaching out to him via WhatsApp to offer assistance with the concession.
Mr Simmons is finalising the details of the petition which he believes will be signed by at least 200 people.
“People have been telling me to start a petition for some time now, because a lot of them knew about my plight,” he said.
Mr Simmons, who took over the business from a friend of his in 2019, opened for the summer season in May, initially offering beach chairs and umbrellas for rent as well as soda, water and chips for sale.
Because he did not apply to renew his prepackaged foods licence before the March 31 deadline this year, he was instructed by environmental health officers to stop selling prepackaged foods on July 20.
Since that date, Mr Simmons has only offered beach rentals to patrons.
“I was not handed a prepackaged foods licence for last year until September 20, once the peak tourism season was over,” he said.
Mr Simmons believed that since he only received last year’s licence in September, it would last for 12 months from that date.
However, licences for restaurants and concessions always expire on March 31, regardless of the date when the licence was awarded.
Mr Simmons said an environmental health inspector conducted the yearly inspection of the trailer last Wednesday, less than two weeks before he plans to close for the season.
He plans to reopen around mid-May next year.
“We are looking forward to getting things sorted out for next year May so that we can move forward,” he said. “[Following the inspection], environmental health handed me a booklet with everything required to be put in place to ensure that everything is there for next season.”
Some of the requirements are a fully stocked first-aid kit, the covering for the concession being secure and having all displayed foods protected from contamination through sneeze guards and or coverings.
All that Mr Simmons is looking to offer patrons are a few rental options, chips, soda, water and hot dogs.
He does not plan to offer any deep fried foods, alcoholic beverages or other items.
“Residents and tourists alike choose Warwick Long Bay because it’s much more peaceful and serene than Horseshoe Bay. I plan to keep it that way.”
When asked for comment, government spokespeople for Mr Burt and Mr Roban said they could not confirm if individual meetings had taken place with Mr Simmons.